Robot seeks a brain – Virginia Tech

Meet Team ViGIR — short for Virginia-Germany Interdisciplinary Robotics — one of two Virginia Tech College of Engineering-based teams competing in the multi-year Robotics Challenge, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Defense dedicated to high-tech research.

ViGIR is a collaboration between College of Engineering spin-off company TORC Robotics — based at Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center — the Department of Computer Science’s Center for Human-Computer Interaction, and German-based Technische Universitat Darmstadt, a longtime student-exchange partner with the College of Engineering.

The team is building new software and control tools for Atlas, a high-tech robot built by Boston Dynamics, as part of the challenge with the end-goal of creating rescue robots that can easily maneuver disaster scenes and save lives. This robot has been named Florian after the patron saint of firefighters (among other professions).


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